If you're in the downtown area, there is free parking at certain parking lots after 5:30pm Monday to Friday, and all day on weekends. Do a Web search for a map of parking lots owned and operated by the City of Ottawa, there are a number of them located in the centre of the city.
There is also free parking at city metre spots downtown after 5:30pm.
And there is also free parking in the parking garage of the World Exhange Plaza complex all weekend. This is located underground, on the block between Albert and Slater streets, and Metcalfe and O'Connor streets.
Route #97 runs from early morning till midnight between airport and bayshore, the stop is on right hand in front of the arrival hall. Makes a stop at Rideau Center downtown.
Fare:CA$3.00-exact change only, or two bus tickets, or valid transfers.
If you take a taxi, it may cost approximately $25-30 to downtown area.
When driving in the capital of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.....be sure to watch for the horrible drivers, oh and taxi's the will run you over. I wouldn't personally even recommend driving take the bus, you see more things. Unless you are travelling to Suburbia which is located all around and outside the city you don't need a car.
Another way to travel is by biking, there is great bike paths in ottawa and lot's of places for picnics
Public transportation is the best but you can rent a car if you have a credit card. There are nice wide roads with big green signs that tell your way. Queensway is the name of the highway that crosses Ottawa from east to west. This highway also connects you to other highways and major transit roads.
At the west end you can get to highway 416 that goes south and will get down to highway 401 which is the Trans Canada freeway.
Go east on the Queensway and get on highway 17. This takes you to Rockland and Orleans. Stay on the 417 and go east. This way you end up in Montreal.
There is also an International Airport in Ottawa. Check the web site for flights. Currently it is under-going an major reconstruction to make the terminal bigger, safer, nicer. All in all better. The grand opening of the new terminal is on October-12, 2003.
You can also get around on a bike or a boat. There are three rivers in Ottawa. The Rideau river, the Rideau Canal and the bigest is the Ottawa river.
Most people fly into Ottawa airport. Ottawa does have an international airport, but as far as I can tell, the word 'international' means that you'll just connect in Toronto. Maybe they do have flights to go directly to Europe, but I haven't seen them yet.
Getting around Ottawa is a breeze. The public bus system in Ottawa is very good. Although it does not have a subway, most of the busses have their own road (Called the transitway).. Catch the #95 or the #97 (the 97 will take you from the airport directly downtown) and you're on the transitway. Stop by the Rideau Center downtown and get a few bus tickets (it's cheaper than paying cash), and you'll be set.
There are also many double decker busses that do tours of Ottawa. Try and get on one of those!
Air by planes;
Rail by Trains;
Road by Car;
Water by small crafts
Octranspo is 'jolly efficient !' **The O TRAIN is a apilot project is the first step toward city-wide light rail transit. **
In summer, bicycle, roller blades, walking
In winter, skating along 8km Rideau Canal,
Cross country skiing is possible along Trans Canada Trail
Before going out, clicking http://www.theweathernetwork.com/cities/can/Ottawa_ON.htm means safer travelling
Air: most major airlines or an easy connection through Toronto.
Train: Via Rail connects to Amtrack.
Car: via the 417, 416 or 17 highways
Driving is easy, if you watch out for the Ottawa drivers . Local buses are cheap and cover the whole city, taxis are more expensive but plentiful. However, if it's summer and you're in reasonable shape, rent a bike and sightsee. Ottawa has over 150 kms of bike paths that cover the city top to bottom/side to side.
I arrived on the train from Toronto, and easily made my way by bus to the Museum of Civilization, my primary destination. The public transportation system is excellent.
I also took a Greyline tour of the city. I only had a few hours, and the tour included some excellent sights, including the Govenors' Palace, the place they stable the Mountie's horses, and scences of the Parliament building from across the river.
The Ottawa airport is about 30 minutes from the city centre. There are buses running regularly between the airport and the city. Of course, taxis are available too.
I prefer to travel on buses cos they are reliable and economical. Day passes are available but single tickets are not particularly expensive too.
There are certain bus numbers which are express services and make fewer stops in between. However, it is also more expensive too (about 50% more).